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Car colours and what they mean

When it comes to choosing your next lease car, there are many factors to consider, the colour of being one of them. While some may argue the colour of your car isn't important, most people see their car as a reflection of their personality.

Your car colour choice may be more biologically rooted than we think. Studies have shown people who are left-brain dominant are more likely to be logical and analytical. These people are likely to be more influenced by practical considerations when choosing a car colour, such as how visible the car will be in the dark and how much dirt will show. People who are right-brain dominant tend to be more intuitive and random in their decisions. These people are more likely to be influenced by subjective factors, leading to more spontaneous colour choices.

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The climate we live in can also influence your car colour preferences. It has been shown that people who live in warmer temperatures prefer lighter coloured cars.

Here at Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, we've put together a short guide on car colours and what they mean, including which colour is the most stolen, which colour car is the safest, and which car colours hold their value. 

What different colours mean

Factors like trends, brands, and models often affect what colour car people choose. According to Digital Synopsis, the psychology of colours in marketing suggests that 84.7% of buyers claim colour is the primary draw when making a purchase. Different colours have different psychological effects on people. However, drivers will always lean towards certain colours, revealing a lot about their personality.

Below we take a look at six of the most popular car colours and what they mean:

Black Cars

Land Rover Defender in Black

The colour black is associated with stability and authority. A black car is also seen as a colour of luxury and sophistication, making it a popular luxury car leasing colour amongst business people and officials. Showing that you don't need fancy colours to express yourself.

Driving Style: Drivers of black cars are more prone to drive with arrogance and a desire to be in command on the road.

White Cars

BMW 2 Series Coupe in White

The colour white is typically associated with cleanliness and safety. White products are also seen as fresh and clean, with a lot of the latest gadgets using the colour, which suggests drivers of white cars try to display a new and up-to-date image.

Driving Style: Those who drive a white car are more inclined to be sensible and follow the rules of the road, becoming frustrated by those who do not follow them correctly.

Grey Cars

Mercedes-Benz EQE in Grey

The colour grey is associated with reliability and timelessness. Grey cars are often driven by mature, modest and humble individuals who are not wanting to stand out in any way, just happy to blend into the crowd. 

Driving Style: Drivers in grey cars are likely to be safe and responsible, with no signs of road rage or hazardous driving that would attract the attention of other road users.

Blue Cars

Audi Q5 Sportback in Blue

The colour blue is associated with reliability and peace. Those who drive a blue car are seen as dependable and even tempered while driving. Blue cars stand out against the more monotone colours on the road without being too loud and flashy and are considered a sensible colour choice.

Driving Style: Drivers of blue cars generally never get into conflicts with other road users and will drive with confidence and determination.

Red Cars

Volkswagen Polo GTI in Red

The colour red is usually associated with urgency and passion, widely used to signal a warning. Those who drive a red car enjoy being noticed and want others to perceive them as having a good time and an energetic personality.

Driving Style: Red car drivers are known for being extroverted, not afraid to take risks, and being a touch aggressive on the road.

Yellow Cars

Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet in Yellow

The colour yellow is associated with cheerfulness and optimism as well as being the brightest colour the human eye can see. Drivers who choose to drive a yellow car are typically fun, energetic, cheerful and want to be seen as enthusiastic and are not afraid to be the centre of attention.

Driving Style: Those who drive a yellow car are more likely to be observant and careful on the road. They are likely to be the first to stop if another road user wants assistance due to their desire to comfort others.

Which colour car is the most stolen?

Car thieves are having a harder time stealing modern cars thanks to the increase in GPS locators and emergency response connections, but car theft will never be eradicated entirely. Some vehicles appear to interest thieves more than others when it comes to car theft. However, there is some psychology behind certain car colours getting stolen more than others.

You might have heard the old rumour that red cars are stolen more than other coloured vehicles, but this is just a myth. In fact, according to NRMA Insurance, only 2.81 out of 1,000 stolen cars were red. Their data suggested that green and black cars are more appealing to car thieves.

The most commonly reported stolen coloured cars are colours that blend in with the crowd, such as white, grey, and silver models. According to Edmunds, silver is the most commonly stolen colour. The study also revealed that blue and silver automobiles were stolen nearly 40% more frequently than any other coloured car.

No car colour is except from theft, but most criminals generally avoid brightly coloured cars, such as yellow or orange, as they are easy to identify. The bright colours usually suggest newer models with improved anti-theft features. In the hands of a thief, it all comes down to the vehicle's market value, as it's a lot harder to unload a neon-green car than a silver one.

Overall, the bolder a colour car you have, the less likely you are to get your car stolen. However, no matter how bright and bold your car colour may be, there is always a risk of your car getting stolen.  

Which colour car is the safest?

When deciding on the colour car you want, we often choose a car's colour based on personal preference or appearance. However, researchers have discovered that a car's colour may be linked to its safety. A study conducted by the British Medical Journal matches car colour with car crash injury data.

The researchers took into account the driver's age, alcohol and recreational drug use, driving time, weather, and ambient light conditions. The research revealed that silver cars had dramatically fewer crashes than any other colour. Silver cars were about 50% less likely to be involved in a collision resulting in serious injury than white cars.

The study also found that brown cars were the least safe car colour, with drivers in brown cars having the highest risk of serious injury in car crashes. The risk of a serious injury in a car crash was marginally lower in black and green cars than in brown cars, but it was higher in white cars. The data also showed that people who drive in white, yellow, grey, red, and blue cars all had a medium-high risk of harm between silver and brown cars.

Which colour car holds its value?

In the excitement of buying a new car, it's easy to overlook the importance of colour and what it means for its value. However, the colour has a significant impact on the value when it comes time to sell.

Usually, subtle colours are more likely to retain their value over time as they are the most desirable. Black, silver, grey, blue and white are some of the most popular colours for new cars and are typically the most likely to have a higher resale price. Second-hand buyers often want metallic paint, so it usually adds value later on, despite the higher initial cost.

Bright colours such as yellow, orange and green are unusual colours that make up a substantially smaller percentage of new car sales in the UK. This means second-hand car buyers are less likely to buy bright coloured cars, so they're best avoided if you want to maximise resale value.

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